|Publication number||US7690603 B2|
|Application number||US 10/781,910|
|Publication date||Apr 6, 2010|
|Filing date||Feb 20, 2004|
|Priority date||Mar 19, 2003|
|Also published as||CA2457278A1, CA2457278C, EP1464576A2, EP1464576A3, US20040245408|
|Publication number||10781910, 781910, US 7690603 B2, US 7690603B2, US-B2-7690603, US7690603 B2, US7690603B2|
|Inventors||Eric Peyrucain, Patrice Rouquette, Christophe Jourdan|
|Original Assignee||Airbus France|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (72), Non-Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (13), Classifications (15), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a method and a device to assist in the piloting of an aircraft, in particular a civil transport aircraft, in a non-precision approach during a landing phase of that aircraft.
In the context of the present invention, the term “non-precision approach” is understood to be an approach which is not a precision instrument approach, such as for example an ILS (Instrument Landing System) type approach. It is known that, in order to use a precision instrument approach, ground stations are used which are located at the edge of the runway and at least one special radio receiver installed in the aircraft, which provides horizontal and vertical guidance before and during the landing by showing the pilot the lateral deviation with respect to an approach path and the vertical deviation with respect to a descent plan. Such a precision instrument approach provides great and effective assistance in landing (by lateral guidance and vertical guidance), particularly in poor visibility (fog, etc) or when there is no visibility.
A non-precision approach, such as considered in the present invention, therefore exists when the preceding items of information are totally or partially unavailable, such that a normal precision approach cannot be implemented.
In such a non-precision approach, the pilot of the aircraft must gather a plurality of items of information relating to the performance of the aircraft's navigation equipment (computers etc.) and to the integrity and precision of measurements of particular parameters, such as the position and altitude of the aircraft for example. The pilot must mentally synthesize all of this information and choose, for the landing, between:
However, this obligatory mental synthesis of the various items of information increases the workload of the pilot and constitutes a significant loss of time, whilst the pilot already has to carry out many tasks at that same time for the purpose of the landing (management of communications with air traffic control, etc.).
Furthermore, the man/machine interface is different between the approach modes of an instrument approach and the approach modes of a non-precision approach, which in particular has the disadvantage of making the ergonomics of the piloting position complex.
The purpose of the present invention is to overcome these disadvantages. It relates to a method to assist the piloting of an aircraft in a non-precision approach during a landing phase.
For this purpose, according to the invention, the said method is noteworthy in that the following series of successive steps is carried out interactively and automatically:
An approach category is a synthetic item of information making it possible for the pilot to appreciate the integrity, precision and availability of the items of information and the measurements that are supplied to him by the on-board equipments during the landing. Each approach category defines the approach mode or modes that are possible from among the different assisted approach modes described above during a non-precision landing.
Consequently, the degree of confidence that the pilot can have in the information provided to him varies according to the effective approach category determined by means of the invention. From an operational point of view, for the approach categories relating to reduced availability, precision or integrity, the pilot must overcome the lack of availability, precision or integrity by means of supplementary data verification actions.
Advantageously, the conditions verified in step a) comprise at least some of the following conditions:
Furthermore, advantageously, in step b) a first approach category is determined when the following conditions are verified simultaneously:
Furthermore, advantageously, in step b) a second approach category is determined when the following conditions are verified simultaneously:
Furthermore, advantageously, in step b) a third approach category is determined when the following conditions are verified simultaneously:
Furthermore, advantageously, in step b) a fourth approach category is determined when at least one of the following conditions A, B, C and D is verified:
The present invention also relates to a device to assist in the piloting of an aircraft in a non-precision approach during a landing phase.
According to the invention, this device is noteworthy in that it comprises:
In a particular embodiment, the said display screen is a primary screen for piloting the aircraft and the said display means present the said approach category in a zone of the said primary piloting screen, which is usually used for the display of an approach category during an instrument approach.
The unique FIGURE of the appended drawing will give an understanding of how the invention may be embodied. This FIGURE is the block diagram of a device according to the invention.
The device 1 according to the invention is intended to assist the pilot of an aircraft, in particular a civil transport aircraft, during a landing phase of the aircraft in the case of a non-precision approach.
According to the invention, the said device 1 which is installed in the aircraft (not shown) comprises:
Preferably, the said means 4 and 6 are integrated in a single computing unit 11.
Furthermore, in a particular embodiment, the said display screen 10 is a usual primary piloting screen of the aircraft of the PFD (Primary Flight Display) type and the display means 8 show the said approach category in a zone 12 of the said primary piloting screen 10, which is usually used for the display of an approach category during a normal instrument approach.
This particular embodiment has the advantage of allowing an improvement of the ergonomics for the pilot, since the latter thus has the availability of approach category information in the same location (zone 12) as used during a precision instrument approach.
The present invention applies more particularly to an aircraft which comprises, in particular, the following information sources forming part of the said set 2:
In a preferred embodiment, the said means 4 verify the following conditions:
With regard to condition C7, in a particular embodiment, the FMS flight management computer calculates the position of the aircraft on the basis of values provided by the usual sources (ADIRS, GPS, VOR, DME). Furthermore, it monitors the integrity and precision of this position value. The said FMS flight management computer can calculate the position of the aircraft in different ways corresponding to the different known navigation modes: “IRS/GPS”, “IRS/DME/DME”, “IRSNOR/DME” and “IRS Only”, quoted in order of decreasing precision.
In addition to the calculation of the position value, the FMS computer makes an estimation of the uncertainty regarding this position value. This uncertainty can be low or high (condition C8).
In order to verify the condition C9, the means 4 can comprise a warning computer of the FWC (Flight Warning Computer) type, which calculates the difference between the two positions, compares that difference with a predetermined value and deduces from this that the two positions are consistent only when the said difference is less than the said predetermined value.
Furthermore, regarding the condition C10:
In both of the preceding cases, this difference is compared with a predetermined value, and it is deduced that the altitude value is precise only when this difference is less than the said predetermined value.
In the context of the present invention, an approach category is synthetic information allowing the pilot to appreciate the integrity, precision and availability of information and measurements which are provided to him by the on-board equipments during the landing. Each approach category defines the approach mode or modes that are possible from among the different assisted approach modes, as described below, during a non-precision landing.
Consequently, the degree of confidence that the pilot can have in the information provided to him varies according to the effective approach category, determined by means of the invention. From an operational point of view, for the approach categories relating to a reduced availability, precision or integrity, the pilot must overcome the lack of availability, precision or integrity by supplementary data verification actions.
Thus, depending on the approach category that is presented to him (according to the present invention) on the display screen 10, the pilot chooses, for the landing, between:
In a preferred embodiment, the means 6 determine a first approach category called “F-APP”, when the following conditions are verified simultaneously:
When this first category “F-APP” is shown on the display screen 10, the pilot can choose any one of the various possible assisted approach modes.
Furthermore, the means 6 determine a second approach category called “F-APP+RAW” when the following conditions are verified simultaneously:
When the “F-APP+RAW” category is shown in the display screen 10, the pilot can also choose any one of the various assisted approach modes but he must verify the consistency between, on the one hand, information provided by the various systems of the aircraft and, on the other hand, navigation data such as, for example, positions of ground markers, route points, etc. These items of navigation data are sometimes called “RAW data” and are shown in a normal “ND” (Navigation Display) type screen.
Furthermore, the means 6 determine a third approach category called “RAW ONLY”, when the following conditions are verified simultaneously:
When the “RAW ONLY” category is displayed, the pilot must preferably not use the lateral and vertical deviation information with respect to a virtual approach path, displayed in the piloting position, because a loss of precision appears in the position value. In this case, he must preferably use the said navigation data (“RAW data”). Consequently, he should not choose the assisted approach modes, which make use of the said previously mentioned deviations resulting from an FLS assisted approach mode function and he should therefore choose only the said selected approach mode. If he nevertheless chooses to use an assisted approach mode, he must then check the validity of the information used for guiding the aircraft.
Furthermore, the said means 6 can also determine a fourth approach category, when at least one of the following conditions A, B, C and D is verified:
With this fourth approach category, only a selected approach mode may be used.
The device 1 according to the present invention therefore makes it possible to reduce the workload of the pilot by presenting him, in a synthetic manner, with information (selected approach category) allowing him to choose immediately the approach mode that he will use and the way of implementing it.
In a particular embodiment, when the aircraft is in the first “F-APP” category, it retrogresses, according to the invention:
Furthermore, when the aircraft is in the second “F-APP+RAW” category, it retrogresses into the third “RAW ONLY” category when the uncertainty regarding the position of the aircraft becomes high.
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|U.S. Classification||244/183, 701/16, 244/195, 701/3|
|International Classification||G01S5/14, G01C21/00, G01C21/16, G08G5/02, G01S19/48|
|Cooperative Classification||G01C21/165, G08G5/0021, G01S19/48|
|European Classification||G01C21/16A, G08G5/00B2, G01S19/48|
|Feb 20, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AIRBUS FRANCE,FRANCE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PEYRUCAIN, ERIC;ROUGUETTE, PATRICE;JOURDAN, CHRISTOPHE;REEL/FRAME:015010/0501
Effective date: 20040204
|May 18, 2011||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: AIRBUS OPERATIONS SAS, FRANCE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:AIRBUS FRANCE;REEL/FRAME:026298/0269
Effective date: 20090630
|Sep 27, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4